'Green Economy' investment can boost growth, reduce poverty — UN

February 22, 2011 4:00

Investing in 10 key sectors can kick-start a transition towards a low-carbon, resource-efficient 'green economy' and also help reduce poverty, says a new UN report.

It calls for $1.3 trillion dollar investment, which may sound like a lot, but is actually one or two per cent of global gross domestic product (GDP) into agriculture, buildings, energy supply, fisheries, forestry, industry including energy efficiency, tourism, transport, waste management and water. According to Achim Steiner, UNEP's Executive Director, the world currently spends that amount on a range of subsidies that often perpetuate unsustainable resources use in areas such as fossil fuels.

«The Green Economy is an idea whose time has come. The challenge before us as environmental leaders now is to try and articulate this idea in terms that can help to achieve in Rio a result that leads to implementation. Addressing capacity building financing and technology transfer in a supportive international environment to assist countries who wish to proceed down this pathway is the challenge that we all have to work on in the coming days, months and year.»

The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) presented the report, «Towards a Green Economy: Pathways to Sustainable Development and Poverty Eradication,» to environment ministers from over 100 countries at the opening of the UNEP Governing Council/Global Ministerial Environment Forum in Nairobi.